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Being the Ancestors and Descendants of Jeremiah Early, 

who came from the county of donegal, ireland, 

AND Settled in what is now Madison 

County, Virginia, early in the 

Eighteenth Century 





Honorary Vice-President of the Indiana Society of the Sons of the American 
Revolution^ and Member of the Huguenot Society of America 






V, The following is the description in heraldic lan- 
r ' guage, of the Arms of Early, as given by Burke, in 
the " General Armory" : 

Arms. — Gules, a chevron between three birds, 
^^ argent. 

|i Crest. — A dexter arm, erect, ppr., the hand hold- 
■V ing a gem ring, or, stone, gules. 
Motto. — " Vigilans et Tenax." 

In plain English, Red (gules), with a chevron 
between three birds, white or silver ( argent ). 

The Crest, a right (dexter) arm, upright, in proper 
~ ' . ( ppr.) colors, the hand holding a gem ring of gold 
(or), with a red (gules) stone. 

Motto translated, means : Vigilant and tenacious 
(or persistent). 

The heraldic signification of these arms would be 
that the ancestor to whom they were granted, was a 
crusader, the emblem of the birds being that they 
were birds of passage, or travelers, who sought 
adventure in foreign lands, and the chevron signify- 
ing, according to some authorities, the rafters to a 

4 Coat of Arms of the Family of Early. 

tent roof, and, according to others, a saddle bow, 
both of these meanings being pertinent to a crusader, 
who, of course, lived in a tent, while at the wars, and 
must have had a saddle for his horse. 

Crests are supposed generally to be significant of 
some individual exploit of the grantees, and mottoes 
to be their war-cries. 

It is probable that the original bearer of these 
arms plundered some unfortunate Saracen of his 
jewelry, at great risk, and with great difficulty, and 
was rewarded by his sovereign by permission to 
sport a crest emblematic of his achievement, with the 
motto to correspond. 


The people known by the surname of EARLY in 
the United States, and especially in the States of the 
South, are descended from an Irish ancestry whose 
habitat in the Isle of Saints lay in the ancient pen- 
tarchate of Ulster. Their cognomen is a translation 
into English of the old Hibernian designation 
O' Mao Imoc heir ghe.^ This formidable appellative was 
the Gaelic title of one of the tribes composing the 
Clan CoUa of Orgialla, and was derived from the 
name of the progenitor of the tribe, Maolmocheirghe, 
a descendant in the eleventh generation from Colla- 
da-Crioch, the founder and first sovereign of the pro- 
vincial realm of Ulster under its Heremonian line of 

Ancient histories of Ireland relate that, about the 
middle of 4th century, a trio of warlike brothers 
called the three Collas, sons of Eochaidh Dubhlein, 
the son of Carbri Lifichar, Ard-righ or principal sov- 
ereign over all Ireland, conquered a great part of 
Ulster, which they wrested from the princes of the 
Clan Ruaidri of the race of Ir, who were its original 
Milesian possessors. In a great battle at Acaleath- 

* From the Gaelic "moch," early : " eirigh," to rise. 

6 The Family of Early. 

derg, the invaders defeated the army of Fergus 
Fogha, the Irian King, who was slain, and appro- 
priated the territories over which he had held 
dominion. The pretext for their invasion is set forth 
in the following legend : 

The Three Collas,* named respectively Colla Uais, 
Colla Meann and Colla-da-Crioch, were, as has been 
mentioned, sons of Eochaidh Dubhlein, the son of the 
Ard-righ Carbri Lifichar. To the exclusion of Eoch- 
aidh, his younger brother Fiacadh Sreabthuine 
obtained the supreme sovereignty of the island. 
With the intent to restore the succession to their 
own line the Three Collas took up arms against 
Fiacadh and slew him at the battle of Dubhcomar, 
A. D. 322, when Colla Uais ascended the throne. 
After a reign of but four years, he was deposed by 
Muredach Tireach, son of Fiacadh Sreabthuine, who 
banished the triad of brothers with their principal 
chiefs to Alba (Scotland), Through the intercession 
of the King of Alba and of the Druids, the Collas were 
pardoned by Muredach, who invited them to return 

* The Gaelic word " colla " signifies proscribed. It 
was applied to the brothers on account of their 
banishment as related in the text. Their real names 
were Carioll, Aodh and Muredach ; but after the 
proscription they were each designated Colla, and 
distinguished by the epithets Uais, Meann and da- 
Crioch, meaning severally "the noble,"" the famous" 
and "of the two territories ;" the latter term referring 
to possessions held by da-Crioch in both Scotland 
and Ireland. 

The Family of Early. 7 

to Ireland and received them, when they did return, 
with signal favor. Shortly after their arrival, the 
King instigated them to invade Ulster and avenge an 
indignity perpetrated upon their ancester, Cormac 
Ulfada,* by Fergus Dubh-Dheadach,'^ a former usurp- 
ing sovereign of the province, promising them every 
assistance in his power. Accordingly the Three Col- 
las assembled a powerful army, including seven caitha 
or legions of 3,000 men each, of the tribes of Con- 
naught, and marched into Ulster, where they fought 
a number of pitched battles in all of which they were 
victorious. Having overthrown the native clans, 
destroyed their capital city and slain their King, the 
Collas possessed themselves of the conquered region 
and erected it into a new principality under the title 
of Orgialla, or Orghialla. This designation was said 
to have arisen from the circumstance of the brothers 
having stipulated, for themselves and their posterity, 
with KingMuredach that, in the event chiefs of their 
clan should ever be demanded as hostages by a sov- 
ereign of the island, such hostages should, if shackled, 

*When Cormac Ulfada became King of Ireland, 
Fergus Dubh-Dheadach revolted against him, and 
being successful in battle banished him to Con- 
naught. Subsequently peace was made between them 
and a feast prepared for Cormac at Magh-Breagh. 
On that occasion, although he was the guest of Fergus, 
a servant of the latter, by his master's orders, set fire 
Cormac's beard and burned it off his face. (Keat- 
ing's History of Ireland.) 

8 The Family of Early. 

be fettered with chains of gold. From a combination 
of two GaeHc words "or" and " ghiall," signifying 
gold and hostage, was composed the appellation of 
the new dominion. When the conquerors had tran- 
quillized the Ruderician inhabitants, they divided 
their acquisition among themselves, Colla Uais be- 
coming prince of Mac Uais, Colla Meann of Moder- 
naigh, and Colla-da-Crioch of Criomthain. The great 
warrior King, Niall of the Nine Hostages, soon de- 
prived the descendants of Uais and Meann of their 
shares of the spoils, which he bestowed upon his own 
sons Eogan and Conall ; but the posterity of da- 
Crioch retained their ancestor's portion and main- 
tained their authority over it as titular kings of 
Ulster, or Orgialla, down to their submission to the 
crown of England in the 12th century. 

From Fiachra-casan, a younger son of Colla-da- 
Crioch, sprang the sept of O'Maolmocheirghe, their 
ancestor Maolmocheirgh having been the son of 
Donoch, the son of Inrachta, the son of Cuanach, 
the son of Ultan, the son of Diceilidh, the son of 
Aongus, the son of Colcan, the son of Tuathal, the 
son of Feidlimidh, the son of Fiachra. 

The progeny of Fiachra-casan appear, from the 
ancient annals, to have been chiefly conspicuous in 
ecclesiastical capacities. No fewer than eight of 
them are enrolled in the calendar of Irish saints. 
The O'Maolmocheirghe branch fully sustained the 
family reputation for piety and contributed many of 
their sons to the service of the Church, some of 

The Family of Early. 9 

whom attained very high preferments. The Annals 
of the Four Masters* record, among others of the 
race, the following distinguished ecclesiastics : 

Muircheartach O'Maolmocheirghe, a holy Bishop 
of Brefney, who died A. D. 1149. The diocese 
ruled by this prelate comprised the ancient region of 
Brefney, which embraced the modern counties of 
Cavan and Leitrim, together with portions of Fer- 
managh and Meath, and became known in later times 
as the see of Lilmore : 

Braen O'Maolmocheirghe, a noted abbot of the 
celebrated monastery of Kells in Meath, who died 
A. D. 1277. Kells, or Kennanas, as it was called in 
the records of the early Church, was a foundation of 
high antiquity. A monastery for canons regular was 
established there about the middle of the 6th century 
by St. Columkille, and was the head of a diocese, its 
superiors for many ages being mitred abbots, inde- 
pendent of episcopal jurisdiction. In 11 52 the mem- 
orable synod of the Irish clergy was held at Kells at 
which two archbishops were added to the hierarchy 

^Annals of the Four Masters : A celebrated work 
of Irish history compiled from ancient Gaelic manu- 
scripts, in 1 63 1, at the Franciscan monastery in the 
town of Donegal by Michael O'Clery, a monk of the 
order, and by Peregrine and Conary O'Clery and 
Peregrine O'Duigenan, learned antiquaries. From 
their high character, these annals have since their 
publication served as the basis of all Irish historical 


lo The Family of Early. 

of the kingdom, and pallia were distributed to the 
four archbishops constituting the new organization 
by Cardinal Johannes Papiron, an especial envoy of 
the Pope. 

Aodh O'Maolmocheirghe, Coarb of the Abbey of 
Drumlane, was drowned A. D. 15 12. Under the 
constitution of the Irish church, as established by 
St. Patrick, "lands were granted by the tribes for 
the maintenance of religious houses, whose abbots 
thereby acquired the position of chiefs to whom the 
occupants of the lands rendered allegiance. The 
lands themselves descended to the successors-desig- 
nate of the abbots who were called coarbs."* 

Such was the position held by Aodh O'Maolmo- 
cheirghe at the time of his death. The abbey, to 
which he was appointed successor, dated from about 
A. D. 555, when it was founded by St. Aidan. When 
that saint was made Bishop of Ferns, Drumlane be- 
came subject to the Abbott of Kells. 

Among notable secular O'Maolmocheirghe, " The 
Four Masters " enroll the names of Matthew, a lead- 
ing chief in the County Donegal, who died A. D. 
1226, and Cathal, the son of Seaghan, the son of 
Seaghan, whose death is registered in A. D. 1536, 
and who is characterized as having been " a con- 
stantly spending and lastingly affluent gentleman." 

Such were some of the ancient representatives of 

* Walpole's Short History of the Kingdom of Ire- 

The Family of Early. 1 1 

O'Maolmocheirghe. Their race is still numerous in 
the land of their ancestors, but their surname has for 
centuries been anglicized as Early. This transfor- 
mation of their patronymic was a consequence of the 
legislation of the English invaders of Ireland, who 
not only dispossessed the conquered native popula- 
tion of their lands and political rights, but deprived 
them also of their characteristic appellations. Many 
penal acts of Parliament were passed during the 
reigns of the Henrys and Edwards, kings of Eng- 
land, which compelled the ancient Irish to adopt 
English surnames, together with the English lan- 
guage, dress, manners and customs, wherever the 
authority of those sovereigns prevailed. As the en- 
croachments of the invaders extended, these vigor- 
ous measures exerted a constantly widening influ- 
ence, until, at length, in certain districts of the island 
the time-honored original nomenclature was super- 
seded by Anglo-Norman or Anglo-Saxon substitutes. 
Doctor John O'Donovan, a celebrated scholar, whose 
profound knowledge of the ancient language, history 
and genealogy of his countrymen has made him one 
of the most authoritative translators of old Hiber- 
nian records and a historian of acknowledged repute, 
complains bitterly of this policy of denationalizing 
the distinctive Irish designations. The effect of it, 
he says, has been greatly to obscure the race history 
of his people, and to render it difficult to determine 
to what stock many families belong, except by the 
aid of tradition and physiognomical characteristics. 

12 The Family of Early. 

He describes the methods of altering names as hav- 
ing been either by paring the originals down, or by 
translating them. They first proceeded by elimina- 
ting the peculiar generic prefixes from the Irish 
appellations and accommodating the orthography of 
the remaining syllables to the pronuncial capabilities 
of their invaders. Under its operation, for example, 
the old surname Mac Eochaidh was transmuted into 
Keogh; O'Dubhthaigh into Duffy ; Mac Gilla-Cel- 
laigh into Gilkelly ; O'Suillibhain into Sullivan^ and 
hosts of others were similarly metamorphosed. By 
the second process English equivalents in meaning 
supplanted the Gaelic titles. Thus " the ancient 
name O'Maolmocheirghe was rendered Early because 
" moch eirigh'^ signified early to rise ; O'Marcachain 
was translated into Ryder from " marcach " a horse- 
man ; the O'SIonachs became Foxes ; the Mac 
Gowans and O'Gowans Smiths; the Mac Intires 
Carpenters ; the Mac Killys Cockes and so on." 
The substitution of Anglican for Irish forms was not 
confined to cognomens, but extended to baptismal 
appellations as well. For instance the Milesian Art- 
gall was converted to Arnold ; Cathal to Charles ; 
Diarmuid or Dermot to Jeremiah; Domhnall to 
Daniel; Eogan to Owen; M.'A^^\ to Miles ; Ruadri 
to Roderick and Roger; Seaghan to John ; Ulick to 
William and the like. 

The composition of the appellative O'Maolmo- 
cheirghe may be thus explained. Its prefix " o " was 
a later form of the old Gaelic " Ua " in the singular 

The Family of Early, 13 

or " Ui " in the plural number, which, when attached 
to the name of a progenitor, had, in its broadest 
sense, the meaning of descendant or descendants. 
The word " maol " may be rendered in one relation 
as '"head" or "chief." The words '^moch" and 
" eirigh " have already been defined. When all were 
united in the order O'Maolmocheirghe, the title they 
formed signified " the descendant or descendants of 
the chief of the early to rise." It originated, no 
doubt, as did all Irish designations, from the practice 
prevalent among that people of conferring names 
indicative of the personal peculiarities, habits, quali- 
ties or exploits of the individual upon whom they 
were bestowed. The following instances of this cus- 
tom, selected from the catalogue of Hibernian kings, 
will suffice to illustrate its operation. Cormac Ul- 
fada — already mentioned in this sketch as the vic- 
tim of a brutal outrage — was Cormac " of the long 
beard," so-called because of the luxuriance of that 
hirsute feature ; Feidlimidh Rechtmar Feidlimidh, 
"the Legal," or "the Just," from his vigorous en- 
forcement of the laws ; and Conn Ked-Cathach, 
Conn " of the Hundred Battles," because of the 
multiplicity of the conflicts in which he was engaged; 
also Y.'ix'c^'dL Argthech Enna, " the Despoiler," from his 
ruthless depredations. So the first bearer of the 
epithet Maolmocheirghe must have derived it from 
a pronounced idiosyncrasy, such as the habit of 
rousing from his slumbers at extraordinarily early 
hours, or possibly of promptly rising in the disturb- 

14 The Family of Early. 

ances which have always characterized the political 
condition of his country, or some conspicuous in- 
stance of his alacrity caused him to be denominated 
as the "head of the early rising." His posterity, 
following the national habitude, retained his dis- 
tinctive designation and became known as O'Maol- 

Modern descendants of this precipitate progeni- 
tor, bearing the Anglican version of their name, are 
distributed throughout several of the counties of 
northern Ireland, but are gathered in greater num- 
bers in the rugged highlands of Donegal — the an- 
cient Tyrconnel — whither they were driven by the 
evicting policy of the Anglo-Irish government. The 
latter invariably appropriated all generous soils, such 
as characterised the Orgiallian possessions of Colla- 
da-Crioch's posterity, to the use of its own adherents 
and compelled the withdrawal of the native inhabi- 
tants into less fertile districts. 

From the valley of the Owenee, in the parish 
of Inneskell, a wild and picturesque, but by no 
means productive region of Tyrconnel, two brothers 
of the race set out to seek a more promising abode 
in America, the elder during the first and the younger 
during the second quarter of the eighteenth century. 

Jeremiah Early, the elder of the refugees and the 
pioneer in emigration, removed directly from the 
County Donegal to Virginia and settled in a section 
of the colony south westward of the sources of the 

The Family of Early. 1 5 

Rappahannock river now known as Madison county. 
He married a Miss Buford, daughter of a prominent 
resident of his new neighborhood, spent a long and 
active Hfe as a planter, and died in 1795, when more 
than ninety years of age. No detailed history of 
his career is extant, but his success in acquiring 
wealth demonstrates that he was possessed of enter- 
prise, intelligence and force of character. He ac- 
cumulated an immense estate and bequeathed a 
handsome fortune to each of ten sons. His taste in 
bestowing christian names upon his sons was so 
peculiar as to be almost eccentric. He invariably 
selected a prsenomen commencing with the letter 'J,' 
and derived from the nomenclature of the Bible. 
Jeremiah was the appellation of his first born, and 
this was followed by James, Jonathan, Jacobus, 
Jubal, Jacob, Joab, John, Joseph and Joel.* 

The majority of the alliterative brotherhood set- 
tled in Virginia. Jeremiah, Jr., and Jonathan se- 
lected Bedford county as their place of domicile ; 
James and Joseph remained in Madison, while Jubal, 
Joab and John located in Franklin. Jacobus and his 
alter ego, Jacob, removed to Kentucky, and Joel, after 
a long residence in his native county, in 1795 trans- 
ferred his household goods to Georgia, in which 
State he established himself in what was then a part 

* The father was evidently unaware that a num- 
ber of his scriptural designations were only different 
versions of the same name. James being the Eng- 
lish and Jacobus the Latin form of Jacob. 

1 6 The Family of Early. 

of Wilkes, but was afterwards included within the 
boundaries of Greene county. Most of them served 
in the patriot army of the Revolutionary War, Jere- 
miah and Joseph attaining- the rank of Colonel. 
John and Joel were deputies from their respective 
counties to the Convention of Virginia, which assem- 
bled in 1 788 to approve or disapprove, on the part 
of the State, of the newly adopted Constitution of 
the United States, and both voted, as did Patrick 
Henry and other eminent delegates, against its rati- 
fication. W^herever they resided, the brothers occu- 
pied positions of social and political prominence and 
became recognized leaders in all undertakings of 
public importance. 

Of the later descendants of the emigrant Jere- 
miah, a number attained to very distinguished sta- 
tions. Conspicuous among these appear Peter, the 
son of Joel, who was chosen successively a Member 
of Congress, Judge of a Superior Court and Governor 
of the State of Georgia ; John, the son of Jonathan, 
who became a noted Bishop of the Methodist Church 
South ; and Jttbal A., of Confederate fame, who is 
the son of Joab, the son of Jubal, the son of Jere- 
miah, Jr. 

Peter Early, the eldest son of Joel, was perhaps 
the greatest American member of the race. He was 
born in Madison county, Virginia, on the 20th of 
June, 1773, was graduated at Princeton College in 
the class of 1 792 and studied law under the direc- 
tion of the celebrated Jared Ingersoll in Philadelphia. 

The Family of Early, 1 7 

Upon being admitted to the bar, he joined the re- 
mainder of his father's family in Georgia, and very- 
soon became distinguished as one of the foremost 
lawyers in his section of the State. After a few years 
of lucrative practice, he was elected in 1802 to fill the 
vacancy in Congress occasioned by the resignation 
of the Hon. John Milledge, who had been chosen 
Governor, and took his seat in the House of Repre- 
sentatives in January, 1803. ^^ "^-as twice re-elected, 
and continued to represent his district until 1807. 
He became an ardent supportor of the policy of 
President Jefferson and bore a prominent part in the 
discussions of the time. His brilliant oratory and 
the rigid severity of his principles won for him the 
confidence of his co-leo^islators, who recoofnized him 
as a leader and selected him as a champion when the 
cause of popular rights or of incorruptibility in the 
administration of affairs demanded a defender. In 
1804 he was appointed a member of the committee 
charged with presenting to the Senate articles of im- 
peachment against Samuel Chase of Maryland, a 
signer of the Declaration of Independence and an 
Associate Judge of the Supreme Court, who was ac- 
cused of prostituting his high office to personal and 
political ends. His speech at the trial of Judge Chase 
was pronounced to be the ablest delivered in the 
cause and elicited from John Randolph of Roanoke, 
who was his associate on the committee, the compli- 
mentary remark that, after the effort of Mr. Early, 
" this young Ajax from the forests of Georgia," an 

1 8 The Family of Early. 

address from himself in the interests of the prosecu- 
tion would be an useless task. All his speeches in 
Congress were remarkable for their logical clearness, 
elegant diction and close relevancy to the points at 

At the close of his third Congressional term, he 
declined a re-election and resumed the practice of his 
profession, but was almost immediately, and without 
opposition, chosen Judge of one of the four Superior 
Courts into which the circuits of Georgia were di- 
vided. " His profound knowledge of the law, acute- 
ness and readiness of perception, commanding elo- 
cution, great natural dignity of manner and unbend- 
ing rectitude of purpose," says an appreciative 
biographer, " eminently qualified him for a judicial 
ermine, and he wore it with distinguished grace. 
When upon the bench he knew no parties, but main- 
tained his office with the sternest proprieties and 
meted out justice with an equal balance. All ques- 
tions or points in cases before him he met promptly 
and decided positively, and, having drawn his con- 
clusions with the sound judgment that characterized 
him, rarely saw occasion to change them. There 
was nothing negative or vacillating in his character, 
and, in all respects, he was a perfect specimen of a 
man and a model judge." 

His judicial career so far commended him to the 
favor of his fellow-citizens that, in 1 8 1 3, he was elected 
Governor of the State by a large majority. He filled 
the gubernatorial office with marked ability and efifi- 

The Family of Early. 19 

ciency, giving a most cordial and hearty support to 
the administration of President Madison, under the 
trying ordeal of the war then raging with Great 
Britain, and displaying a promptitude and readiness 
to meet all demands upon the resources of the State 
in aid of the national struggle, which might well have 
earned for him the title of a " great war governor " 
since applied to certain of the State executives. The 
spirit that animated him was finely exhibited by his 
action when called upon by the Federal Secretary of 
War for a loan of $80,000 (a large sum for those 
times) by Georgia to the General Government. He 
responded to the demand by promptly drawing his 
warrant for the amount without waiting to obtain 
the consent of the Leg^islature. On beinar remon- 
strated with for this act by a legal friend who ex- 
pressed his fears that a possible result of the war 
might be a disruption of the Union, when there 
would be no Federal Government to account for the 
loan, he replied : " Should such an event occur, all 
will be lost together ; if there be no Union there will 
be no States, and property, whether public or private, 
will be without use or value. For myself I should 
not care to survive such a catastrophe." In 1814 the 
Legislature of Georgia was induced to pass a law 
entitled " The Alleviating Act," the object of which 
was to arrest the collection of debts. This statute 
Governor Early peremptorily vetoed, thereby arous- 
ing great hostility to himself, and so impairing his 
popularity that, on his becoming a candidate for re- 

20 The Family of Early. 

election, he was defeated. He then resumed his law 
practice, abjuring politics except for a single term in 
the State Senate, which the people of his county in- 
sisted that he should serve. 

An almost Quixotic sense of justice was a distin- 
guishing trait in the character of Peter Early. In 
obedience to this sentiment, he made on one occasion 
a personal sacrifice which would have severely tried 
a less exalted nature than he possessed. His father, 
actuated by a feeling of resentment against his other 
children, who had in some way displeased him, made 
Peter his principal legatee, devising to him by a will, 
executed in his anger, almost his whole estate. 
Peter, being designated as executor, had the custody 
of this unjust testament and was aware of its pro- 
visions. After the death of his father, he summoned 
his brothers and sisters to meet him, and, reading the 
will to them, said : "We are all children of the same 
parents and ought to love one another. I am made 
the beneficiary of our father's will to your exclusion. 
Were I to accept this patrimony, depriving you of 
your just shares in it, I should be doing you a great 
wrong, and it would be unnatural that you should 
love me. Without this will we should all share alike. 
I here cast the will mto the fire. Nor do I wish you 
to feel that by what I have done I have placed you 
under obliorations to me, because I reo-ard it as a 
simple act of justice. Only let us be brethren in 
heart and thought, as we are by blood." 

Peter Early married Anne, daughter of Francis 

The Family of Early. 2 1 

Smith of Greene county, Georgia.* The issue of 
his marriage were two dauQrhters and three sons. 

o <-> 

Lucy, the elder daughter, married Colonel Richard 
Jones, a wealthy planter of Alabama, and their 
daughter, Donella, is now the wife of General Joseph 
Wheeler, the famous Confederate cavalry leader and a 
Representative in Congress from Alabama. Cynthia, 
the younger daughter, married John Swope, son of 
the Hon. Jacob Swope, who represented the Staunton 
District of Virginia in Congress from 1809 to 181 1. 
Mrs. Swope is still living, a venerable widow, at 
Courtland, Alabama, where her graces of manner and 
the noble christian beauty of her character render her 
the center of a devoted family circle. She is the 
only surviving child of her distinguished father. 

Governor Early died on the 17th of June, 181 7, 
and was buried on his plantation. The writer has 
seen it stated that the family burial ground, where his 
remains repose, has been desecrated by being enclosed 
within the bounds of one of those extraordinary, 
primitive institutions, a convict camp. If this be true, 
it is a crying reproach upon the fair fame of the Em- 
pire State of the South that she permits the last rest- 
ing place of one of her most illustrious citizens to be 
so profaned. 

* Gen. Thomas A. Smith, a distinguished officer of 
the United States Army, by whose advice the fron- 
tier posts in the West were erected, and in whose 
honor Fort Smith in Arkansas was named, was a 
brother of Mrs. Early. 

22 The Family of Early. 

Rt. Rev. John Early, D. D., the son of Jonathan, 
was born in Bedford county, Virginia, in 1785. He 
became a convert to Methodism during a period of 
great religious excitement in the winter of 1 801-2, 
and was Hcensed itinerant preacher in 1807. His 
fervor and eloquence soon made him prominent as a 
pulpit orator, and his enthusiasm rendered him suc- 
cessful as a revivalist. He was chosen secretary of 
the Conference to which he belonged, served repeat- 
edly as presiding elder, and was almost constantly a 
delegate from Virginia to the quadrennial General 
Conference of his denomination. After the disrup- 
tion of the American Methodists, in 1844, into the 
Churches North and South, — a result to which he 
actively contributed by his ardent advocacy of the 
Southern opinion upon the questions which led to the 
separation — he was elected by the Conference South, 
of 1846, agent of their book concern, and filled that 
office for eight years. In 1854 he was elevated to 
the episcopate and continued to serve in that capac- 
ity for the remainder of his life. 

Bishop Early was conspicuous for most thorough 
earnestness in all his undertakings and for an ag- 
gressive and determined maintenance of his own 
opinions. At sessions of the General Conference he 
was a " chronic member of the opposition ; " and the 
writer has been informed by a distinguished Method- 
ist minister who knew him intimately, that he was 
sometimes jocularly called " Brother Negative," and 
that his tendencies to an adverse view of things could 

The Fa7nily of Early, 23 

be so certainly counted upon, that his fellow-dele- 
gates , when desiring- his espousal of measures they 
had at heart, would sometimes profess antagonism 
to them in order to secure his support. He was 
Protestant to the verge of fanaticism, and his hos- 
tility to Romanism intense and uncompromising. 
To a relative of the writer, whose sign over a ware- 
house in the city of Baltimore had attracted his at- 
tention and tempted him to enter the establishment 
and ask whether the proprietor were a connection, 
he addressed the inquiry " Do you belong to the 
church of Rome ?" Being assured that such was not 
the case he said, " Well, then, I hope I may be able 
to discover a kinsman in you. Had you clung to the 
degrading superstitions which, I am sorry to say, con- 
stituted the creed of my ancestors, I should not care 
to trace a relationship ; unless, indeed, by so doing I 
might, under God's providence, be made the instru- 
ment of your conversion !" Notwithstandino- his 
truculent championship of his personal views, the 
Bishop was refined and gentle in his social intercourse, 
and a charming companion. His love of flowers 
amounted to a passion, and the greater part of the 
leisure he could obtain from his pastoral duties w^s 
devoted to their cultivation. 

Bishop Early married a Miss Rives, a member of 
the family which included the distinguished states- 
men, William C. and Alexander Rives. His wife 
died in 1857, and his own death occurred at his resi- 
dence in Lynchburg, Virginia, on November 5, 1873. 

24 The Family of Early. 

Jubal A. Early., of the Confederate army, was born 
in Franklin county, Virginia, in 1818. He was 
graduated at the national military academy at West 
Point in 1837 and entered the army of the United 
States as a Second Lieutenant of the First Artillery. 
He fought with his regiment during the Seminole 
war in Florida, but resigned his commission in 1838 
to devote himself to the study of law. After his 
admission to practice, he was elected a member of 
the Virginia Legislature, and became State's Attor- 
ney from 1843 to 1847, and from 1848 to 1852. 
During the interval between January, 1847, and 
August, 1848, he served as Major of one of the Vir- 
ginia regiments engaged in the war with Mexico. 
He was chosen a delegate to the State convention 
which assembled in 1861 to consider the question 
of the withdrawal of Virginia from the Federal 
Union. He did not favor the ordinance of secession, 
but opposed it at every stage with all his power. 
After its adoption, however, believing it to be his 
duty to unite his fortunes with those of his State, he 
offered his services to Governor Letcher, who 
promptly accepted them and commissioned him as a 
Colonel of a regiment. He commanded a brigade at 
the battle of Bull Run, where his opportune arrival 
upon the field, at a critical period of the day, con- 
tributed largely to the Confederate success. He par- 
ticipated in the Seven Days' battles before Rich- 
mond and was severely wounded. In 1863 he was 
made a Major-General and led a division at the battle 

The Family of Early. 25 

of Gettysburg. In the spring of 1864 he was ordered 
to the command of all the Southern forces in the 
Shenandoah valley, and in July of that year, invaded 
Maryland, defeating the Federal General, Lew- 
Wallace, who endeavored to prevent his advance, at 
the battle of Monocacy. Passing northwestward into 
Pennsylvania, he burned the town of Chambersburg, 
and exacted heavy contributions from other towns in 
consideration for exemption from like destruction. 
As he returned through Maryland, detachments of 
his troops threatened Baltimore and Washington, 
and one of them, under Colonel Harry Gilmore, 
burned the private residence of Governor Bradford 
in Baltimore county. He was defeated by General 
Sheridan at Winchester, Virginia, again at Fisher 
Hill and Opequan, and at last completely over- 
whelmed by General Custer at Waynesborough. 
For these disasters he was severely censured by the 
Confederate authorities and deprived of his com. 
mand ; but his "Memoirs of the Last Year of the 
War," published in 1867, clearly exculpate him and 
demonstrate that he only yielded to the inevitable. 
After the war was concluded, he resumed the prac- 
tice of his profession at Richmond, where he con- 
tinued to reside until his death. 

As General Early was positive in his opposition to 
the secession of his State at the outbreak of hostili- 
ties, so was he determined in his fidelity to the cause 
to which he pledged himself when she did secede. 
He remained thoroughly " unreconstructed," and 

26 The Family of Early. 

continued irreconcilable, as long as he lived. He 
occasionally figured as a lecturer before a Southern 
audience or as a contributor to Southern periodicals, 
and by all his utterances indicated that, " though 
overcome, he was not subdued," and that he would 
cherish his devotion to the Confederacy to the 

From a near relative of the General, the writer 
has heard the following anecdote of him : Before the 
civil war he and this relative had many amicable 
bouts upon the alleged grievance to Southerners in 
the exclusion of their slave property from the terri- 
tories held in common by all of the States of the 
Union. The relative contended that this was a 
great wrong ; the General did not so consider it. 
The disputants failed to agree, of course, and the 
outburst of the terrible fraternal struggle suspended 
their discussions. When the General was wounded 
at the Seven Days' Battles, he was removed to Rich- 
mond for surgical attendance and quartered in a 
leading hotel. His relative being also in Richmond, 
called upon him immediately after hearing of his ar- 
rival. When ushered into the General's chamber, 
the visitor was saluted at once by a reminder of their 
arguments in the remark by the battered veteran : 

" Well, , I suppose you are assured of the 

privilege of carrying your negroes into a territory, 
now, eh?" In view of the existing situation of Con- 
federate prospects, and the impending danger that 
negroes would soon cease to be property at all, there 

The Family of Early. 27 

was a grim humor about this speech, worthy of 

General Early was remarkable for the strong at- 
tachment he bore to those allied to him by blood 
and for the kindly generosity of his character. To 
the latter trait he was indebted for certain romantic 
legends of children found upon fields of battle and 
fostered by him with more than paternal tenderness, 
of which imaginative journalists have made him the 
hero. General Early was never married. 

Besides the foregoing notable trio, a number of 
other descendants of Jeremiah achieved a commend- 
able degree of distinction. Among them may be 
mentioned : 

Clement Early, a younger son of Joel, who was 
graduated at Princeton College in the class of 1 799, 
and served for some years, in the earlier part of this 
century as acting Librarian of Congress. 

William L. Early, of Charlottesville, Albermarle 
county, Virginia, who was a prominent lawyer and a 
politician of note. 

William Early, of Madison Court House, who re- 
peatedly represented his county as delegate and Sen- 
ator in the General Assembly of Virginia. 

Col. Samuel H. Early, of Lynchburg, a brother of 
General Jubal, who has long been conspicuous in po- 
litical and business circles, and bore a most gallant 
part in the Confederate army. He is a large pro- 
prietor of salt-works on the Kanawha river. 

28 The Family of Early. 

Doctor Robert Early, also of Lynchburg, an emi- 
nent physician and a scholar of rare accomplishments 
and taste. 

Col. John P. Early, of Laporte, Indiana, a descend- 
ant from Jacob, the sixth son of the emigrant, who 
has been a prominent politician in Northern Indiana, 
member of the State Legislature and trustee of the 
public benevolent institutions. 

Collateral descendants of Jeremiah Early have 
been numerous from marriages of his female progeny 
with husbands bearing- different surnames. In Vir- 
ofinia their ramifications include the families of Calla- 
way, Cabell, Rives, Anderson, Brown, Langhorne, 
Price and many others equally notable. Alexander 
Brown, of Norwood, the brilliant historical writer, is 
a scion through the female line, being a great-grand- 
son of Elizabeth, daughter of Jeremiah Early 2nd, 
and the wife of Colonel James Callaway of Revolu- 
tionary fame. In Georgia and other Gulf States, the 
branch which sprang from Joel Early became con- 
nected with the houses of Smith, Watkins, Hillyer, 
Matthews, Walton, Jones, Swope, Wheeler and oth- 

These desultory memoranda of the sturdy Ulster- 
ian pioneer and his posterity cannot perhaps be more 
fittingly concluded than by a mention of the venera- 
ted Doctor Thomas A. Watkins, of Austin, Texas, 
a scholarly octogenarian, whose reminiscences have 
furnished much of the information herein contained, 
and whose courtly elegance of manner and gracious 

The Family of Early. 29 

hospitalities render him one of the most perfect rep- 
resentatives possible of the "old time Southern gent- 
leman." Doctor Watkins is a grandson of Joel Early 
through the latter's eldest daughter Mary, who mar- 
ried George Watkins, an eminent legal writer in 

Of the history of William Early, the younger emi- 
grant, only such indistinct traces remain as character- 
ize the record of Jeremiah. Traditions among his 
older descendants report that, previous to his emi- 
gration, he resided for some time in the county of 
Chester in England ; that he married an English wife 
named Mary Marlyn, with whom he sailed for Amer- 
ica, and that he died quite young, leaving only one 
son, Thomas, who was born upon the farm of his 
father, in the present county of Union, New Jersey, 
in the year 1742. 

In 1764 Thomas Early married Euphemia Carr, a 
lady of Scottish descent, disposed of his paternal es- 
tate in New Jersey and removed with his widowed 
mother to Virginia, where he purchased a farm in the 
county of Hampshire. There he dwelt for nearly 
twenty-five years, and children to the number of ten 
were born to him. His family comprised seven 
sons and three daughters, who were named as fol- 
lows : William, Joseph, Thomas, David, Mary, Eu- 
phemia, Ebenezer, John, Elizabeth and Lewis. 
Upon the death of his wife, influenced by glow- 
ing reports of the fertility of lands in Kentucky, 

30 The Family of Early. 

he removed, with his children, to that State in 1788, 
and settled at Mills' Station in Mason county, about 
12 miles to the southward of the town of Maysville. 
He lived to the age of 73 years, and died in 181 5. 
All of his children grew to maturity and all became 
heads of families except William, the eldest, who died 
a bachelor, in 181 7. The brothers Joseph, Thomas, 
Ebenezer and John, established themselves in Mason 
and the adjoining county of Fleming, which was 
formed out of a part of Mason, and all the sisters 
settled in the same neighborhood. Their descend- 
ants are quite numerous in that region at the present 
day. They have almost uniformly devoted them- 
selves to agriculture as a pursuit, and have generally 
attained comfortable competencies in the way of for- 
tune. Lewis, the youngest brother, removed at an 
early day to Gibson county, Indiana; David, some- 
what later, to the vicinity of Aberdeen, in Brown 
county, Ohio, and Joseph, in his old age, to Terra 
Haute, Indiana. 

Joseph Early, the second son of Thomas, was born 
in Hampshire county, Virginia, on the 4th of March, 
1770. He married, in 1795, at Mills' Station, in 
Kentucky, Catherine, the eldest daughter of Captain 
Jacob Drennan, by his wife Mary, the daughter of 
Thomas Mills, the founder of this station. (Jacob 
Drennan, the father of Mrs. Joseph Early, was, like 
his son-in-law, of Irish extraction. He was de- 
scended from the O'Drennans of the County Antrim 

The Family of Early. 31 

— a family including among its members the cele- 
brated Doctor William Drennan, author of the beau- 
tiful poem " Erin," in which the designation " Em- 
erald Isle " was first applied to Ireland. He was 
born in 1750, in the district lying to the southeast- 
ward of the upper Ohio river, which was long a sub- 
ject of contention between the States of Virginia and 
Pennsylvania, but was assigned to the latter, under 
the title of Washington county, upon the adjustment 
of boundaries. He was one of the adventurous spir- 
its who followed Gen. George Rogers Clarke in his 
expedition against the British posts in the North 
West, during the Revolutionary war, and participated 
in all the perils and triumphs of that memorable 
campaign. While passing down the Ohio river, on his 
his way to the appointed rendezvous of Clarke's 
forces, he was much impressed by the character 
of the lands on the Kentucky shore of that stream ; 
and when victory had crowned the efforts of Clarke's 
little army, he, after a brief visit to his family, 
visited a portion of the State, traversing on his 
route thither, the course of the river from Wheeling 
to the mouth of Limestone creek in a canoe, and de- 
pending upon his rifle to procure subsistence. He 
repeated his tour of observation some time after- 
wards, descending the Ohio, on his second trip, to 
the mouth of the Kentucky river. During these 
journeys he experienced many privations, and, at one 
time, suffered severely for the lack of food. He was 
encompassed for several days by bands of prowling 

32 The Family of Early. 

savages, and dared not fire his weapon at the game 
which would have supplied his wants, for fear of 
betraying to them his place of concealment. On 
his first trip he selected and located a body of 
one thousand acres of very fine land on Mill creek 
in Mason county, and on the second another tract 
of three thousand acres in Henry county, includ- 
ing the site of a mineral spring near the shore of 
the Kentucky river, which afterwards became well 
known by his name. Not content with this large 
estate, which would have become his own absolutely, 
by settlement thereon, he embarked upon a third 
voyage with the intention of pre-empting additional 
land. He was accompanied on this venture by three 
kindred spirits, one of whom was the celebrated In- 
dian fighter and scout, Simon Kenton, who had been 
his comrade in arms under Gen. Clarke, and was his 
warm personal friend. Just below Marietta, while 
steering the boat upon which the party was traveling, 
Drennan was shot by Indians from an ambush on the 
Ohio side of the river, fell overboard, and found his 
grave beneath the waters of the stream. His com- 
panions, to avoid sharing his fate, were compelled to 
abandon their boat, which was immediately pursued 
by the Indians in their canoes, and escape to the 
Virginia shore. 

Drennan's wife, on being informed of his death, 
resolved to remove at once to Kentucky in order to 
take possession of the lands her husband had located. 
She carried this determination into effect and was 

The Family of Early. 33 

accompanied in her melancholy emigration by her 
father, Thomas Mills, and her children, Catharine, 
Melissa, John and Mary. They settled upon the tract 
in Mason county, where her father established a sta- 
tion which was called by his name. Mrs. Drennan 
secured for herself and her children a title to a moiety 
of the property upon which the station was erected, 
parting with the remainder as fees to attorneys and 
public officials, but the larger estate in Henry county 
was forfeited from her inability to make settlement 
upon it.) 

In the spring of the year following his removal to 
Kentucky Joseph Early enlisted in a company of 
mounted riflemen under the command of Simon 
Kenton, who had founded a station within a few miles 
of Mills', and set out with his comrades in pursuit of 
a band of marauding Indians that had crossed from 
Ohio into Kentucky below the mouth of the Scioto 
river, and stolen a number of horses from the settlers 
in Mason county. The thieving savages were tracked 
by Kenton, with the sagacity of a sleuth-hound, into 
Ross county, Ohio, where they were overtaken upon 
the banks of a small stream, and, after a short en- 
gagement, put to flight, leaving the stolen animals 
behind them. A number of the Indians were killed 
during the conflict, also one of Kenton's men, who 
was buried by his comrades on the field of battle. 
The gallantry displayed by Joseph Early in this 
brief campaign as an Indian fighter rendered him a 
great favorite with General Kenton, who became a 

34 The Family of Early. 

frequent visitor at Thomas Early's house, and after 
Joseph's marriage, at the residence of the latter, 
where the family welcomed him always with rever- 
ence and never wearied of his narratives of his ex- 
ploits. Joseph settled for a time upon a farm in 
Fleming county, but shortly removed to Mason, 
where he sojourned while he continued a citizen of 
Kentucky. In the war of 1812 he saw some further 
military service, having enlisted in the body of troops 
furnished by his State to Gen. Harrison for the de- 
fense of the North West. His wife Catherine died 
February 4, 18 16, and after some years he married, 
secondly, a widow, Elizabeth Tully, who died child- 
less in 1836. In 1839 ^^ sold his property in Mason 
county, and removed to Terre Haute, Indiana, 
where the brief remainder of his life was passed un- 
der the roof of his son Jacob, and where he died 
July 2, 1842. In person Joseph Early was tall — be- 
ing over six feet in height — spare and muscular, of 
dark complexion, with coal-black hair and frank, in- 
genuous countenance. He was remarkably simple 
and unpretentious in manner, grave and dignified in 
carriage, but keenly alive to an humorous anecdote 
or an action that appealed to his sense of the ludi- 
crous. His language was a quaint mixture of old 
and modern English, and many of his expressions 
savored of the phraseology of the ceremonious 
period when " Honored Sir " or " Madam " was the 
form of address from a child to a parent, and when a 
familiar letter to a friend was subscribed " Your most 

The Family\of Early. ' 35 

obedient and humble Servant to command." He 
was most generous and amiable in character, child- 
like in his innocence and purity, and won the hearts 
of all with whom he came in contact by his gentle 
courtesy and his careful consideration for the opin- 
ions and prejudices of others. He had issue by his 
first wife : Xl # o^ «' 3 

I. Mary, born in Fleming county, Kentucky, June 
12, 1796, married Willis Bell in July, 181 1, and died 
September 18, 1846, having had issue: 

Kenton Boone: born April 3, 181 2, married 
Lucy Ferguson and died without children. 

John Drennan : born June 17, 1814, mar- 
ried Anne Reagan and had issue: Mary Helen, 
Jane, Martha, Charles, James and Catharine. 
Catherine Drennan : born July 23, 1816, 
married John T. Bateman of Fleming county, 
Ky., to whom she bore one son, John T. Bate- 
man, Jr.; married secondly. Doctor Samuel J. 
Weldon, of Covington, Indiana, and had issue 
by him : James Walter and Marmaduke. 

Sarah (twin sister of Catherine) : born July 
23, 1 8 16, married George Rhodes of Shelby 
county, Illinois, and had issue : Elizabeth, 
William, Mary, Bruce and Albert, 

William Marly n : born November 17, 18 18, 
married Elizabeth, only daughter of John 
Russell, a large land owner of Vermillion 
county, Indiana, and had issue : Mary and 
Ruhama ; married secondly, Caroline Reeves 

36 The Family of Early. 

of Terre Haute, and had issue : Elizabeth, 

Caroline aud William Marlyn. 

Mary: born July 24, 1824, married James 

W. Stewart of Terre Haute, and had issue : 

Helen, Catharine, Matthew and James. 

Jane: born July 11, 1826, married William 

Kirkpatrick, a successful merchant miller of 

Perrysville, Indiana, and had issue ; Emma; 

Joseph, Helen, John and Alice ; married 

secondly, William Patten, a wealthy farmer of 

Fountain county, Indiana. 

Helen : born November i, 1828, married 

Doctor Benjamin H. Boyd of Perrysville, and 

had issue : Mary and Helen. 
Mrs. Mary Bell removed, in 1839, from Fleming 
county, Kentucky, to Vigo county, Indiana, and 
resided for some years at Malcolm's Ferry, on the 
Wabash river, and afterwards at the Grove Farm, 
near Terre Haute. In 1845 she removed again to 
Perrysville, in Vermillion county, where, with her 
youngest daughters, she kept house for her son Wil- 
liam, who had engaged in business in that town. Of 
her sons, Kenton settled at Mitchell in Lawrence 
county, Indiana, where he was a merchant ; John 
accompanied the family to Vermillion county and 
became a farmer, while William was first occupied in 
merchandizing at Perrysville, but after his marriage 
assumed the management of his father-in-law's large 
agricultural interests, which he conducted with 
marked ability and success. 

The Family of Early. 37 

II. Johfi Drennan, born in Fleming county, Ky., 
August 18, 1797. In his youth John D. Early sus- 
tained an injury to one of his ankles which caused 
permanent lameness. He was consequently incapaci- 
tated for active physical exertion, and sought a career 
compatible with his health. He first became a teacher, 
and was for some time principal of a school at Flem- 
ingsburg. He then received the appointment of 
deputy-clerk of the county, in which capacity he 
served for several years. In 1820 he removed to Vin- 
cennes, Indiana, where for a few months he was em- 
ployed in the office of the county clerk and recorder, 
after which he secured a position in the mercantile 
establishment of Messrs. Bonner & Reynolds, the 
leading business house of the place. His ability and 
assiduity at once commended him to the confidence 
of the firm, and in 1824 they sent him to Terre 
Haute as manager of a branch concern which they 
opened there. He was given a handsome interest 
in this venture, which he conducted profitably for 
some time, and finally became its sole proprietor. 
He sold it in 1831 to his brothers William and Joseph 
and engaged in the packing of provisions, which he 
shipped to eastern and southern markets. He prose- 
cuted this business with great success, alone, at first, 
and afterwards in association with his brother Jacob 
until 1840, when he transferred the field of opera- 
tions to Baltimore, Maryland, where he pursued the 
same avocation until his retirement in 1856. He was 
a director in the branch at Terre Haute of the old 

38 The Family of Early. 

State Bank of Indiana from its organization in 1834 
until his removal to Maryland, and held for many 
years a corresponding position in the Union Bank of 
Baltimore. He was a bold operator in business and 
very successful until toward the close of his career, 
when certain consignments of his products to foreign 
markets proved disastrous and seriously impaired his 
fortunes. John D. Early married, May 5, 1831, Sarah 
Eliza, second daughter of Isaac Reynolds of Balti- 
more, who died January i, 1832. He married, 
secondly, June 12, 1839, Eliza, eldest daughter of 
William E. George of Baltimore. He died June i, 
1861, having had issue by his second wife : 

1. John Drennan (cashier of the Commercial and 
Farmers' Bank of Baltimore), born at Terre Haute, 
Indiana, March 25, 1840, married April 25, 1865, 
Maude G., daughter of Alexander Rieman of Balti- 
more, and has issue : 

Eliza George, born March 6, 1866. 

Eveline, born August 5, 1868. 

Alexander Rieman, born February 28, 1870. 

2. William George, born June i, 1843. 

3. Joseph, born May 6, 1846, and died August 9, 

III. Jacob Drennan^ born in Fleming county, Ky., 
January i, 1799. In February, 18 14, Jacob Early 
began active life on his own account, by obtaining a 
situation as clerk in a grocery store kept by Benjamin 
Roebuck in the village of Mayslick in Mason 

The Family of Early. 39 

county. He retained the position until March, 
18 1 5, when he was engaged by Robert Dougherty 
to serve him in a similar capacity in his store 
of general merchandise at Greenupsburg in Greenup 
county. In the following month of June, Mr. 
Dougherty sold his establishment, and his young as- 
sistant was thrown out of employment. Jacob then 
returned to his father's home and assisted in the 
work of the farm until March, 18 16, when he pro- 
cured a post in the store of Messrs. Sanders & Hig- 
gins at Flemingsburg. In June of the same year 
the firm decided to transfer their stock, under charge 
of one of the partners, to Salem, Washington county, 
in the new State of Indiana, and invited their clerk 
to accompany the removing partner. His father 
consenting that he might go, Jacob set out with Mr. 
Higgins and the stock of goods. They embarked 
at Maysville on board a small flat-boat, which they 
navigated safely to Utica in Clark county — the 
nearest landing to Salem — where Mr. Higgins dis- 
embarked and departed on horseback for his future 
home to prepare a receptacle for his merchandise. 
He left Jacob to discharge cargo and procure means 
of transportation for the goods. This he success- 
fully accomplished and was ready in a very short 
time to proceed with his charge. Shortly after the 
arrival of the new citizens at Salem the first election 
of officers for the State of Indiana was held. During 
the canvass for this election Jacob met and became 
acquainted with the candidates who were running. 

40 The Family of Early. 

In January, 1817, Mr. Higgins sent him back to 
Flemingsburg on business. While he was on this 
trip, Mr. John N. Stockwell, a merchant of Flem- 
ingsburg, offered him a place in his establishment, 
with a salary more than double what he was receiv- 
ing from Sanders & Higgins. As this offer pre- 
sented him an opportunity to return to his native 
county, as well as largely increased his earnings, he 
accepted it and entered into a written contract with 
Mr. Stockwell. When upon his going back to 
Salem he informed Mr. Higgins of his new engage- 
ment, the latter was greatly annoyed by the prospect 
of losing his services, and offered him a salary more 
than three times as large as his original pay if he 
would remain with him, but Jacob could not be 
tempted to violate his compact with Mr. Stockwell. 
Accordingly, about March i, 181 7, he repaired to 
Flemingsburg and entered upon his duties with that 
gentleman. They were of brief duration, however, 
for at the end of three months Mr. Stockwell sold 
his stock to parties who removed them to another 
town. This apparent loss of employment inured 
greatly to Jacob's advantage, for he was immediately 
engaged by Messrs. Wallace & Triplett, the princi- 
pal merchants of Flemingsburg, at a compensation 
double what Mr. Stockwell had allowed him. He 
remained with this firm for five years and a half, 
during which time his strict economy enabled him to 
save a small capital. Being satisfied of his ability to 
conduct an establishment of his own, in 1823 he left 

The Fainily of Early. 41 

Messrs. Wallace & Triplett and began business for 
himself. He was so successful that his first year's 
operations netted the handsome profit of $4,000 
above all expenses. He continued to enjoy a con- 
stantly increasing- prosperity in Flemingsburg until 
September i, 1835, when he removed to Terre 
Haute, Indiana, where he bought the general mer- 
chandise business of his brothers William and Joseph 
and joined his brother John in the packing of pro- 
visions. He became at once the leading merchant 
of Terre Haute and conducted an extensive and 
profitable business for the remainder of his life. His 
integrity and liberality won the confidence of the 
entire community, and a large fortune resulted from 
his enterprise and his commercial ability. He was 
elected a director in the State Bank of Indiana 
shortly after his arrival at Terre Haute, and, in that 
bank and its two successors, the Bank of the State 
and the National State Bank, held the same position 
until the day of his death. He was honored at times 
with seats in the earlier councils of the town, but uni- 
formly declined all suggestions that he should seek 
higher ofifice. He was by habit and preference a 
merchant, and, in that capacity had no superiors and 
few equals. The "golden rule" was his standard of 
action and the careers of few men could show a stric- 
ter adherence to that divine precept. While careful 
of his own interests he was mindful of those of oth- 
ers, always rejoicing in the prosperity of his neigh- 
bors and aiding their advancement by kindly counsel 

42 The Family of Early. 

or more substantial means. It was truthfully said of 
him, by a writer of reminiscences of the early days of 
Terre Haute, that he was "pre-eminently a just and 
good man." 

Jacob D. Early married May 2, 1826, Mary, only 
daughter of Samuel Stockwell, of Flemingsburg, Ken- 
tucky, who died February 25, 1828, having had issue 
one son : 

Samuel Stockwell Early, born at Flemingsburg, 
July 12, 1827. Of the history of this member 
of the family, the writer, as the subject of it, 
feels himself compelled to allow another to 
speak. He, therefore, quotes all that his sense 
of propriety will allow from a sketch printed 
in 1880, by the Western Biographical Publish- 
ing Company, of Cincinnati, merely making 
such alterations as his more accurate knowl- 
edge suggests : 
" Mr. Early's mother died a few months after her 
son's birth and he was reared by his maternal grand- 
parents. He received his education until he was 
fourteen years of age at the academy in Flemings- 
burg, which during his pupilage, was under the di- 
rection, first of Mr. Godfrey Scarborough and later 
of Rev. Dr. Henry Maltby. In 1841, he entered the 
second term of the freshman class at the Indiana As- 
bury University, at Green Castle, and was graduated 
in September, 1844, having pursued the full collegiate 
course and won honors as the Greek orator of his 
class. In 1847 the degree of Master of Arts was 

The Family of Early. 43 

conferred upon him by his ahjia mater. Mr. Early, 
from his earliest youth, manifested an almost passion- 
ate fondness for art, and had his natural tastes been 
encouraged, would have chosen a career as a painter ; 
but this inclination was not sympathized with by his 
father who, perhaps wisely, introduced him into his 
own counting-house to teach him the mysteries of 
trade. Even among his practical surroundings his 
artistic instincts asserted themselves and he employed 
such leisure time as he could command, with his pen- 
cil, acquiring, though entirely self-taught, consider- 
able proficiency as a draughtsman. His predilections 
in this direction were strongly developed by a foreign 
tour which he made in 1849-50, after an apprentice- 
ship of some five years to business. His tour em- 
braced the British Islands, Holland, Belgium, France, 
Italy, Austria, Northern and Southern Germany and 
Switzerland, and he devoted the greater portion of 
his sojourn abroad to study of the different forms of 
artistic creation, as illustrated by the great structures 
and collections in European capitals. As a result of 
his travels and its accompanying research, his 
mind is stored with a fund of information upon 
artistic subjects rarely to be met with outside 
the charmed circle of those who have devoted their 
lives to the pursuit. The writer of this sketch has 
been favored with a glimpse at a manuscript narrative 
of Mr. Early's travels, which is illustrated by drawings 
from his pencil, portraying scenes of every-day life in 
Europe, and evincing great excellence of execution. 

44 The Family of Early. 

After his return from abroad he became associated 
with his father in business, the partnership continu- 
ing until the death of the latter on January 6, 1869. 
In 1856 Mr. Early was chosen president of the Prairie 
City Bank, holding the position for six years, when 
the bank, declining to accept the provisions of the 
national banking laws, wound up its old business 
and was sold to private parties. In 1864 he was 
elected president of the board of trustees of St. 
Agnes' Hall, a seminary for girls at Terre Haute, 
and held the position for three years. During this 
period, and until 1871, when he resigned, he was a 
director of the National State Bank at Terre Haute. 
In the autumn of 1871 he removed temporarily to 
Baltimore for the education of his children, pur- 
chased an interest in th.e. BalHinore Bulletin, 2iWQ^]dy 
journal of literature and art, and became prominently 
identified with the literary and artistic circles of the 
city. The Bulletin took a very high stand among 
periodicals of its kind, its criticisms coming to be re- 
garded as most authoritative in matters pertaining to 
its sphere and exercising great influence in develop- 
ing the study and patronage of art in the Monumen- 
tal City. He returned to Terre Haute in 1876 and 
resumed his business. Upon the death of Col. Wil- 
liam K. Edwards, in 1878, Mr. Early was chosen his 
successor as a member and secretary of the board 
of managers of the Rose Polytechnic Institute, the 
splendid foundation of Mr. Chauncey Rose in Terre 
Haute, for the technical education of young men 

The Family of Early. 45 

which position he continues to occupy." In June, 
1883, the authorities of Kenyon College conferred 
upon Mr. Early the honorary degree of Master of 
Arts, and in April, 1884, he was elected a member of 
the American Antiquarian Society. 

Samuel S. Early was married on Thursday, Octo- 
ber 24, 1855, at Grace Church, Baltimore, by Rev. 
Dr. A. C. Coxe, to Ann Louisa, eldest daughter of 
Gen. Timothy P. Andrews, late Paymaster-General 
of the United States Army, and has had issue : 

Edward Gray, born September 16, 1856, 
died Thursday, April 22, 1858. 

Emily Marshall, born Monday, March 15, 
1858, married Othniel DeForest, of New York 

Jacob Drennan, born Friday, November 4, 
1859 5 prepared for college by Doctor Robert 
Atkinson, of Baltimore; was graduated at Ken- 
yon College, June 26, 1879; studied law at Uni- 
versity of Virginia; a member of the Terre 
Haute bar; Secretary of the Local Board of 
Underwriters and Chairman of Republican 
Committee for the Eighth Congressional Dis- 
trict of Indiana. 

Samuel Stockwell, born Monday, October 
12, 1863; prepared for college at Harcourt 
Place Academy, Gamber, Ohio, and later a 
student of Mechanical Engineering in the 
Junior class of the Rose Polytechnic Institute 
at Terre Haute. 

46 The Family of Early. 

Charles Snowden Fairfax, born Monday, 
April 18, 1870; a student of the training de- 
partment of the State Normal School at 
Terre Haute. 
Jacob D. Early married, secondly, February 25, 
1833, Ann Catharine, third daughter of Isaac Rey- 
nolds, of Baltimore, who died April 8, 1881, having 
had issue : 

Isaac Rey7iolds, born March 12, 1837, died 
May 26, 1842. 
foseph, born and died February 2, 1844. 
Harriet Reynolds, born October 25, 1843; 
married William Van Wyck, of New York, 
October 12, 1880, and has issue : 

Ann Early, born November 25, 1881. 
Jacob Early, born March 10, 1883. 

IV. William, born in Fleming county, Ky., Feb- 
ruary 18, 1800. William Early remained much longer 
at the homestead of his father than any of his brothers, 
but at length, emulating their example, he removed to 
Terre Haute and entered the employment of his 
brother John, after the latter had become the pro- 
prietor of the establishment in which he was engaged. 
He remained with John until 1831, when, in partner- 
ship with Joseph, he bought the concern. The two 
conducted business together until 1835, during which 
year they sold out to Jacob. William then returned 
to Kentucky and resided with his father until the 
removal of the latter to Terre Haute in 1839. Wil- 

The Family of Early. 47 

Ham accompanied him and passed the balance of his 
life either at Terre Haute, or upon a farm belonging 
to him in its vicinity. He resumed active mercantile 
business for a short time, but soon abandoned it for 
his favorite pursuit of agriculture. William Early 
married April 23, 1840, Jane, eldest daughter of 
Peter Duffecy of Terre Haute, and died May 2, 1847, 
having had issue : 

Mary Jane, born February 10, 1843, mar- 
ried Richard Tiernan, August 3, 1868, and 
died December i, 1870, having had issue : 

Mary Grace, born September 8, 1869. 

John, born May 2, 1846, and died March 11, 

V. George Marlyn, born in Mason county, Ky., 
May 9, 1802, and died unmarried, July 2, 1826. Ac- 
cording to family traditions, George Early possessed 
endowments of extraordinary character and would, 
had he lived to develop his powers, have become a 
very conspicuous member of the house. He was hand- 
some in person, brilliant in intellect, studious and 
industrious in habit, irreproachable in conduct, and 
exceedingly gentle and engaging in address. When 
he attained to maturity, he joined his brother John 
at Vincennes and was employed by the same firm of 
Bonner & Reynolds. His attractions of mind and 
person won the affection of a daughter of one of the 
partners, who refused his suit for the hand of the 
young lady. He quitted the service of the obdurate 

48 The Family of Early. 

father, and, with means supplied him by his two 
elder brothers established himself as a merchant at 
Bloomlngton, Monroe county, Indiana. He suc- 
ceeded admirably in his undertaking, but his dis- 
appointment in love affected his health and he died 
almost at the outset of his promising career. 

VI. Joseph Carr, born in Mason county, Ky., 
January 31, 1806. When Joseph C. Early approached 
manhood, he decided to study the profession of medi- 
cine, and in pursuance of this determination, entered 
the office of Dr. Edward Dorsey, a prominent physi- 
cian practicing in Flemingsburg. A few months' 
experience, however, demonstrated to him that the 
mysteries of the healing art were not agreeable sub- 
jects of investigation. He consequently abandoned 
the studv and engaged in the business of his brother 
Jacob. The elder brother soon granted him an in- 
terest in his profits, and the two remained together 
until 1831, when Joseph removed to Terre Haute 
and joined William in the purchase of the mercan- 
tile business of John. The arrangement between 
him and William was maintained until the arrival of 
Jacob at Terre Haute, when the latter bought the 
establishment. Joseph then embarked alone in the 
same occupation, but almost immediately associated 
with him Edward H. Reynolds, the brother of his 
wife. The new firm existed but a short time. On 
its dissolution, Joseph became an employe of his 
brother Jacob. In 1846 Jacob furnished him a stock 
of goods and some cash means, with which he opened 

The Family of Early. 49 

a store at Pittsburgh in Carroll county, Indiana. 
This venture did not result favorably and was soon 
abandoned. His wife dying, Joseph removed, with 
his family, to Lafayette, Indiana, where he became 
a teller in the branch of the State Bank. He gave 
up this post in 1848, and from that time had no set- 
tled residence or occupation for any prolonged 
period. He was employed again for a time by Jacob 
at Terre Haute, then by different merchants at 
Green Castle, Indiana, and in various localities in 
Illinois. Joseph C. or " Carr Early" as he was 
familiarly called, was gifted with more than average 
abilities, was an accomplished penman and accountant, 
an assiduous student of such subjects as interested 
him, a public speaker of considerable power, and a re- 
markable conversationalist. But his character lacked 
stability and persistence, so that his career was not 
so fortunate as his talents would have seemed to 
promise. He married October 30, 1828, Elizabeth 
Hughes, only daughter of Edward Reynolds of 
Flemingsburg, Kentucky, who died October 9, 1847, 
having had issue : 

George Marlyn, born October 5, 1829 ; mar- 
ried August 5, 1855, Emily, eldest daughter 
of Andrew Wilkins, Clerk of Vigo county, 
Indiana, and has issue : 

Harry Wilkins, born April 26, 1856. 

George Reynolds, born July 12, 1857. 

Susan, born January 21, i860. 


50 The Family of Early. 

Mary Rae, born June 4, 1864 and died July 
6, 1864. 

Edward Reynolds, born July 6, 1832, mar- 
ried at Chicago, Illinois, February 25, 1865, 
Mary Dryden and has issue : 

Martha Elizabeth, born March 22, 1874. 
Joseph Carr^ born November 13, 1834, mar- 
ried at Palmyra, Iowa, July 10, 1861, Mary 
Anne Tallboys, and has issue : 

Lilian May, born at Adell, Iowa, April 
10, 1862 ; married at Maple Grove Farm, 
White county, Indiana, March 30, 1882, 
Charles W. Mitchener : 

Mary Louise, born at Lafayette, In- 
diana, December 3, 1866. 

Mattie Bell, born at Lafayette, Indiana, 
January 30, 1870. 

Elizabeth Reynolds, born at Maple 
Grove Farm, November 28, 1878. 
Sarah Elizabeth, born at Terre Haute, In- 
diana, September 18, 1837 ; married at St. 
Louis, Mo., (by Bishop C. S. Hawks) Feb- 
ruary 2, i860, William Henry Hatcher, and 
died at Paris, France, February 3, 1883, leav- 
ing issue : 

Louise, born at Lafayette, Indiana, 
February 26, 1861, married December 27, 
1884, at Lafayette, Indiana, Senhor Jose 
Coelho Gomes, Secretary of the Brazilian 
Legation to the United States. 

The Family of Early. 5 1 

Robert Stockwell, born at Lafayette, 
Indiana, February 15, 1865; married at 
Lafayette, Indiana, April 22, 1889 (by 
Bishop D, B. Knickerbacker) Georgia 
Hatcher Stockton. Mr. R. S. Hatcher 
was elected Reading Clerk of the Senate 
of the Fifty-ninth General Assembly of 
the State of Indiana, and at the begin- 
ning of the First Session of the Fifty- 
fourth United States Congress, he was 
appointed Reading Clerk of the House 
of Representatives. 
Mrs. S. E. Hatcher soon became a widow and went 
abroad for the education of her children. For a 
number of years she was a prominent member of 
the " American Colony" in Paris, where, at the same 
time, resided her cousin, Mrs. Hitt — nie Reynolds — 
the wife of Hon. Robert R. Hitt, Secretary of the 
United States Legation to France during the ad- 
ministration of President Hayes. 

Mary Louise^ born June 15, 1839, married at 
Lafayette, Indiana, October i, 1862, William 
W. Curtis and had issue : 

Mattie Goodwin, born June 14, 1865, 
married at Lafayette, Indiana, June 2, 
1884, William F. Frey, and died. 
Catherine Emma, born June 26, 1841, died 
March 10, 1845. 

Martha Ann^ born June 26, 1843. 
Harriet Reynolds, born and died Sep. 9, 

Joseph C. Early married secondly at Green Castle, 
Indiana, Susan Thornton, a widow, by whom he had 
no children. He died October 8, 1874, at Jackson- 
ville, Illinois. 

52 The Family of Early. 

VI I. Walter Warder, born in Mason county, 
February lo, 1814. Taken at an early age into the 
establishment of his brother Jacob at Flemingsburg, 
Ky. Walter Early remained in that situation until 
the removal of his brother Joseph to Terre Haute, 
when he accompanied the latter and entered the em- 
ployment of William and Joseph. He continued with 
them until they gave place to Jacob, when he again 
engaged in Jacob's service. In 1840 he formed a 
partnership with William Lindley and William Albert 
Brown and the three began business under the firm 
name of Lindley, Brown & Early. This firm was 
dissolved by the death of Mr. Brown in 1842, when 
Walter Early succeeded to the concern, which he 
conducted alone for a short time. He then became 
connected as a partner with his father-in-law, Mr. 
Wait Williams, which relation existed for a number 
of years. On its termination he effected a connection 
with Walter Leeeett in the Grain and Produce busi- 
ness. Not succeeding with this, he resumed his 
original mercantile occupation, but was not pros- 
perous. He then established a branch at Newberry 
in Green county, Indiana, but this experiment proved 
no more remunerative than his other ventures. At 
last he abandoned all business on his own account 
and became once more a clerk for Jacob, with whom 
he remained until his death. He married April 24, 
1 841, Caroline M. daughter of Wait Williams of 
Terre Haute, and died February 8, 1862, having had 
issue : 

The Family of Early. 53 

1. Walter Williams^ died in infancy. 

2. Walter Marlyn, born September 3, 1845 > 
married July 6, 1861 Mary Mattingly. 

3. Caroline Dimmock, born February 28, 
1847; married May 10, 1870, Anton Shide 
(Professor of Music in the State Normal 
School at Terre Haute) and had issue: 

Louis, born November 28, 1871, died 
December 19, 1874. 

Jessie, born April 24, 1874. 
Anton, born November 11, 1881. 

4. Sarah Williams, horn ]\i\y 2,^ 1849; iriar- 
ried May 16, 1871, James Murray of Indian- 
apolis, and died April 15, 1873. 

5. Jacob Drennan, born February 22, 1853, 
married July 29, 1881, Mary Lahiff.